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Soon: GOP Sen. Tim Scott To Announce 2024 Presidential Run; Potential Default Now 10 Days Away As McCarthy, Biden Meet Today; Second-Ever Private Mission Successfully Arrives At ISS. Aired 11- 11:30a ET

Aired May 22, 2023 - 11:00   ET




JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Any minute now Republican Senator Tim Scott will announce his bid for the Republican nomination. The elephant in that room that whom you're looking at right now there's a live pictures. What will he say about front monitor Donald Trump?

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Docked and now ready to open the hatch. We're taking you live to the International Space Station we're paying customers are making history. This is CNN News Central.

BERMAN: So any moment now, Republican Senator Tim Scott will take the stage in his hometown in South Carolina and formally kick off his presidential campaign. These are live pictures of the event that is the room right there. He has racked up some impressive endorsement. But he does enter a field that most polls show is already dominated by former President Donald Trump. CNN's Eva McKend is there in North Charleston, South Carolina this morning. Eva, what are you expecting to see?

EVA MCKEND, CNN NATIONAL POLITICS REPORTER: Well, John, faith and optimism really going to be central to his campaign pitch. He's also going to lean heavily on his personal biography as someone who grew up in poverty and ultimately was ascent -- able to ascend to the United States Senate. And then I'm able to run for the presidency.

I've been speaking to his supporters all morning, and they tell me that the low poll numbers right now reflect that much of the country don't know him yet, that don't underestimate Senator Scott, and the appetite for this type of hopeful message. We also spoke to his longtime pastor at Seacoast Church. We know faith is going to be so important in his pitch. Take a listen to what the pastor told us.


GREG SURRATT, PASTOR, SEACOAST CHURCH: I think a misconception that people might have about him is that his niceness, his humility, translates as weakness. And they don't know the Tim Scott that I know. I would like to -- I like to kind of see it as an iron fist in a velvet glove.


MCKEND: So we anticipate that his remarks will focus heavily on the left on President Biden. So far, he has shown very little appetite to really mudslinging and his fellow Republican opponents. Senator John Thune, his Senate colleague will join him on stage. We know of course, he's very popular in the upper chamber. Now we'll have to see if this popularity among his colleagues will translate to voters in the early important states of Iowa, New Hampshire and right here in South Carolina. John?

BERMAN: You know, even McKend with the near front row seat to this announcement. We'll speak to you again in a little bit. Thanks so much for being there. Kate?

BOLDUAN: All right, and as we wait for this really to happen any minute now, here's a little bit more about Senator Tim Scott. He's 57 years old. And if he wins the Republican nomination for president, he would be the first black person to do so. With this big official launch today, he joins what will be a crowded field of candidates who have so far announced as we're revealing for you right here.

And soon to join this group back here, notably because it will be happening this week, soon to be joining this group will be Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. He's expected to make his presidential announcement also this week. So this is a big week in president -- in Republican presidential politics.

But you can also as you look at this field, you should also keep one important fact in mind, which is right now, polls show former President Donald Trump as the very clear front runner in the group. Senator Scott who was -- who is the first black senator to ever be elected in South Carolina, he must now introduce himself to Republican voters, not only in South Carolina or in the south, but all across the country.


And you will likely as you've heard from Eva right there, you're going to likely hear from him about his childhood, his experience growing up poor in South Carolina. Here's a little bit more about his resume to this point. Scott started out on the Charleston County Council serving there for more than a decade. He then also served in the South Carolina State House before going on to serve in the U.S. House representing South Carolina's first congressional district.

Tim Scott was then tapped by former Governor Nikki Haley to fill the vacancy left when Senator Jim DeMint resigned. And now Tim Scott and Nikki Haley, they will now be running against each other for the Republican nomination. John?

BERMAN: All right, Kate, obviously Tim Scott, if he is going to get the nomination has to run through Donald Trump. With me now, CNN political director and host of CNN Political Briefing Podcast, David Chalian. Sir, what's Tim Scott's theory of the case? How does he beat Donald Trump in a primary? DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Well, his first part of that theory of the case, John, is similar to what we hear from every other candidate not named Donald Trump, which is the belief that there is roughly half the Republican primary electorate not interested in having Donald Trump as the Republican nominee in 2024.

And so the play becomes to dominate that half of the party while trying to dig some support that Donald Trump has amassed, because as we've noted, he's the clear front runner in the race. The way in which that the Scott campaign believes he is qualified to do that, they're convinced he's the best messenger the Republican Party has.

We've seen some of this in moments, right? We've seen him deliver a response to the State of the Union address. We've seen a high profile convention speech. Obviously, he had a big splash when Nikki Haley did appoint him to the Senate back in 2013. But he's largely unknown to the country. So they're hoping his ability to deliver the conservative message is one that resonates with Republican primary voters.

BERMAN: Even for those who have decided that endorsements don't matter in presidential campaigns. I think a lot of people took note over the weekend when it emerged that the number two Republican in the Senate John Thune is going to be on this stage in just a few minutes. And there's at least one or two other Republican senators backing Tim Scott, what does that tell you about his potential establishment support?

CHALIAN: Well, first and foremost, it tells me what anybody who has covered Capitol Hill knows that he is a beloved colleague inside the Senate Republican Conference. He is one of the most popular members of the Senate Republican Conference. And I think so you'll see some of that support from his fellow senators.

But politically, I think it says something quite interesting if the number two Republican in the United States Senate is not signing up with the former president, is not signing up with the Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who seems to be Trump's strongest rival at the moment.

It tells you that this is just the starting line of a race. This is going to be quite a run here with a crowded field. This is not a party that is looking to make this a two person race or just a coronation for Donald Trump.

BERMAN: How much Trump talk do you expect from Tim Scott?

CHALIAN: Very, very little, I expect much more anti-Biden rhetoric. I mean, Tim Scott's one of the core pieces of his message is that grievance politics is not something he thinks is just in the domain of Donald Trump. He thinks that it is something that the liberal left Biden Democrats lean into his well. He will make the argument tied to his own personal biography, that leftist Biden policies as he sees them, would not allow him to climb the ladder of success in life that he has. So I would expect you're going to hear a lot more about the current president that the former president.

BERMAN: David Chalian, do not go far. We're going to want to speak with you as this event plays out this morning. Thanks so much for being with us for now. Kate?

BOLDUAN: So the clock is ticking. And we just learned the meeting time. President Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, they will resume their debt crisis talks at 5:30 p.m. this afternoon. But negotiations between their teams we have learned have already started this morning on Capitol Hill. Here's why they need to get to it in a very real way.

In 10 days, the United States could default on its debt, $31 trillion of debt. Government bills could go unpaid because the government would run out of money to pay those bills. And that would put millions of Americans on the hook and at risk who rely on Social Security checks, Medicare, veterans benefits, they could -- everyone could be impacted and not only here in the United States we've heard messages from all around the globe that it could be a catastrophe for the global economy if this would happen.


McCarthy said that he and the President that they held a productive phone call when they had their call over the weekend. CNN's Arlette Saenz though is that the White House let's get a read from there. Arlette, what are you hearing from there now? We have a meeting time. But it goes without saying so far from we have a deal, and we have a fix, and we're going to avoid this massive crisis.

ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it really does, Kate. But President Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy have recognized the urgency of this moment with the potential for default occurring and as little as 10 days. And this evening at 5:30, they will be meeting here in the Oval Office, even as their two sides remain incredibly far apart on how to approach the debt ceiling and the budget agreement.

One of those GOP negotiators this morning saying that they still have a number of obstacles ahead before reaching any type of deal. Now White House negotiators are back in the room with Kevin McCarthy's representatives up on Capitol Hill today. And one of the issues that has really emerged over the course of the past week is the discussion around the issue of spending levels.

The White House has proposed freezing spending at current year levels, while Republicans want to see it revert back to fiscal year 2022 levels. And both House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and President Biden have talked about each of their sides and their approaches to spending. Take a listen.


REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA), HOUSE SPEAKER: The under Law underlying issue here is the Democrats since they took the majority has been addicted to spending, and that's going to stop. We're going to spend less than we spent last year.

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm willing to cut spending. And I proposed cuts and spending of over a trillion dollars. But I believe we have to also look at the tax revenues.


SAENZ: Now Republicans have said that new tax revenues are off the table for that in these discussions. So that issue of spending is expected to be one of the top priorities heading into this meeting this afternoon. But really this highlights just a very urgent high stakes moment for both President Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

It's unclear whether they'll be able to reach an agreement but they are facing very stiff deadlines as that June 1st date is quickly approaching. And let's not forget it takes time to move any type of legislation and wrangle support up on Capitol Hill.

BOLDUAN: Yes, that's that is exactly right. It's good to see you Arlette. Thank you very much, Arlette Saenz at the White House. John?

BERMAN: So Ukraine officials confirm that a group of pro-Ukrainian forces are operating inside Russian territory. This is really the first time we've heard anything like that. Where they are targeting this morning?


A very exciting day in space paying customers on board the private space X mission, they are set to board the International Space Station shortly. And a year since the massacre at the Uvalde Texas Elementary School, CNN is speaking to families of some of the children who survived that day. Why they want others to see the horrific footage of their children escaping.


BERMAN: The NAACP has issued a travel advisory for Florida. It says that under the administration of Governor Ron DeSantis, the state is quote, openly hostile toward African Americans. The leadership for the NAACP is urging the black community to avoid visiting the state. Nebraska's governor is set to sign into law today a 12-week abortion ban.

State lawmakers passed the measure on Friday advanced abortions after 12 weeks with exceptions for sexual assault, incest and medical emergencies. The ban was folded into a bill that bars gender affirming treatments for Nebraska residents under the age of 19. Kate?

BOLDUAN: All right, we want to get you back to space right now because this morning a private space crew looks like they just boarded successfully the International Space Station after a nearly 15-hour flight. This is really cool to see says Captain Obvious Kate Bolduan. The four person mission led by former NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson. She -- they docked to the ISS earlier this morning while traveling over Japan.

And they will -- and just moments ago, they floated through the hatch into this space station joining the crew that was already on board. Now these astronauts are going to spend the next eight days working alongside this crew on just so many things. Let's get over to CNN's Carlos Suarez once more. He's live at Kennedy Space Center. I see you there but I'm keeping an eye on another monitor because it's really cool to see these pictures coming in from the ISS.

CARLOS SUAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, no worries, Kate. I've got a monitor right here that I'm also keeping a close eye on. You're taking a look at or at least you should be have a live picture right now from the International Space Station of these four crew members that are now joining the seven astronauts that are currently at the International Space Station. Just a few minutes ago we saw all four of them make their way onto the ISS.

Peggy Whitson, the U.S. commander, she was the first one that was welcomed onto the ISS. She is a former NASA astronaut. And she knows a couple of these astronauts that are already there. She herself was also a commander at the ISS. And she is no stranger to any of this having spent 665 days in space. John Shoffner, he is the mission pilot. He was the second person that made it onto the ISS.


And then all following him were the two Saudis that are on this trip. Ali al-Qarni, he is a mission specialist. And after he made it onto the ISS, Rayyanah Barnawi, she is also another mission specialist on this trip. She was the last one to make it onto the ISS. And Kate, she made some history herself yesterday becoming the first Saudi woman in space.

And so right now, all of four crew members are onboard the International Space Station. As you noted, they're going to be there for at least the next eight days doing a number of experiments, from cancer research to taking a look at the effects of gravity on the production of stem cells. They're also going to be looking at some new communication systems and some technology that axiom says is going to improve the lives of future space travelers. Kate?

BOLDUAN: Also looked like they had little 8.5, you know, by 11 pieces of papers like certificate that said welcome aboard, which is a nice way to welcome them aboard and this like massive operation of amazing engineering may give them a paper certificate saying welcome aboard. We're going to continue watching this. We've got the live pictures coming in from NASA T.V. Carlos Suarez at Kennedy Space Center. Thank you, Carlos. John?

BERMAN: Maybe it was like a bill, maybe just makes checkout easier if you get to slip right at the beginning, right?

BOLDUAN: I love that idea. Or I don't know. We'll continue to watch it though. There's a lot going on with it.

BERMAN: So in less than an hour the man charged with murdering four University of Idaho students will appear before a judge. Bryan Kohberger is accused of fatally stabbing four students last year. Today, he is expected to enter a plea. And if he is found guilty, he could face the death penalty. CNN's Jean Casarez is with us now. Jean, why don't lay out what we're going to see.

JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, this is the first time that Bryan Kohberger has entered a plea in Idaho. This is the first time that he will be in district court which is the trial court in Idaho. Because of that indictment last week, the case moved up to proceed to trial. So that's definitive now it's going to trial.

Now we believe that he's going to enter a plea of not guilty because his defense attorneys have been extremely aggressive in their motion so far, but the charges that he is facing are four counts of first degree murder and burglary in regard to the stabbing deaths of those four University of Idaho students in Moscow on November 13th.

And their families may be in the courtroom today because this is a very important appearance. Kaylee Goncalves, Maddie Mogen, Xana Kernodle and Ethan Chapin, they were all stabbed to death brutally murdered. Now one thing that the prosecution may say, Your Honor, we will have an answer for you in time on the death penalty because the prosecution has 60 days to determine if they are going to file notice of intent to seek the death penalty.

And they need to find at least one aggravating factor and an Idaho that can be multiple murders. It can be heinous, atrocious and cruel killings, and it can be that the defendant exhibited an utter disregard for human life. But at this point, Bryan Kohberger in that courtroom watch his demeanor. We haven't seen him since January. And he's innocent until proven guilty.

BERMAN: An important day, Jean. Thanks for laying it all out for us. Appreciate it. Kate?

BOLDUAN: Also new today Russian officials say at least three people have been injured from early morning shelling in the Russian controlled Belgorod region. They say that the shells have multiple residential buildings. Also, there is still confusion right now over who actually controls Bakhmut. The Russian backed Wagner paramilitary group said that they had taken over the city and are now, you know what we're going to -- we're going to take live pictures now. We're going to take you -- we're going to get back to the story out of Ukraine in a second.

But what you're looking at right now is Senator Tim Scott in South Carolina. I believe that was his nephew. I think I was told who brought him on the stage just giving an introduction. Here is the senator about to announce -- officially announced his presidential bid. Let's listen in.

SEN. TIM SCOTT (R-SC): Thank you very much. Thank you.

All right, let's go. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Obviously, I can't dance as you know that already. So how's everyone doing today? Whoa, I will say you all look fantastic. What a great place to be. I will say without any question. I am so happy to be back in North Charleston, South Carolina.

And I can't tell you how much I mean this in the depths of my heart. I'm so proud. to be an American. I hope you are. Are you proud to be an American? I can't hear you. I can't hear you. I can't hear you. Oh, yeah.


America is the greatest nation on God's green earth. And our greatness doesn't come from politicians. It doesn't come from the government. It comes from we, the people, we the people. And I'll tell you, and when I think about the greatness of America, I have to start with my favorite American, my amazing mother. Where's my mama? I love you, mom.

It is hard to find your mom in a crowd this big. And so diverse too. Let me just say this real quick here, to my mother, thank you for your hard work and your dedication. Thank you for believing in me when no one else did. I'll tell you that before, thank you, but long you're all shout, the longer it goes. So this is not too bad though, I don't mind. This is good.

I got to get back to Washington next week. So this is all the fun I get to have. But I will say with any question that when you think about -- mom, come up here for a second. When you think about the miracle of America, it always comes down to someone who loves unconditionally, who goes the extra mile, who's tough as nails, and he puts it all on the line. And for me, you all be careful back there now.

For me, it's my mom. Now, if you've heard my story, and most of you have heard my story, I'm going to tell it again anyways, by the way, so laugh when your suppose, I can't believe my little buddy took my best line by the way. It's amazing. But I will say this. Mom, I love you. Thank you for your sacrifice. Thank you for standing strong in the middle of the fire. You also thank her too.

Amazing. I'll also say this, though, that when I was growing up in a single parent household, there was a guy from the Citadel named John Moniz. John was a mentor I needed at the right time. I have had more mentors since then, of course, I've got great mentors. I thank God Almighty that he continues to provide me with really cool mentors. One of my mentors, Larry Ellison is with us today. And I'm so thankful to have so many different mentors in the house.

But I will say that there was a guy named John Moniz who mattered so much. And I think Janice is with us today, somewhere. Janice is over here. Come here Janice. So, for those of you unaware of this, when I was a kid growing up, and I was failing out of school and my nephew just told a part of the story, it was Janice's husband then John Moniz who caught me at the right time. Who helped me survive some really hard times.

And for those of you who wonder if it's possible for a broken kid in a broken home to rise beyond their circumstances, the answer is yes. And for those of you who wonder if America is a racist country, take a look at how people come together, oh God, people come together. Black ones and white ones, the red ones and brown one's working together because love, unconditional love binds hearts together. [11:29:40]

We are not defined by the color of our skin. We are defined by the content of our character. And if anyone tells you anything different they are lying. I wanted to present both of you. Thank you Jordan.